The original bipolar – 221b

I did a double somersault out of borderline depression today, and have been awake a good 21 hours now, busy busy busy, mind running running running.  So why not a blog post too?  I’ve also been surrounding myself with a man I have known well since high school.  He is very popular these days.  He has been seen recently on CBS, the BBC, and just last week I rewatched him played by RDJ – Robert Downey Jr.  Today I have been listening to him via the original ACD on my mobile listening device.

It’s elementary to deduce of whom I speak of, the original bipolar consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes.  All of his incarnations show the tell-tale traits of a mentally unbalanced genius.  He can go from super sleuth to sorry sap in a blink of the eye.  He dazes off in deep thought never realizing that days have passed.  He forgets to eat and sleep or even love.  Yet he is never lonely because he has his humble hero, Watson.

I could go on for days about him.  I don’t come close to his observational skills, but feel a certain kinship in his philosophy of mind.  I can be crazily focused on something and stare at it to pieces analyzing it.  I marvel others with my logical reasoning that works seven steps ahead of a common woman.  I can be really awkward and off-putting in social situations, never on purpose, but come off being cold and heartless to strangers.  I have but one lifelong mate that is fascinated by me, and I invite to follow me in my life adventure.

I have no interest in crime science, but could compare passions with my mad knitting skills.  I think about knitting in spurts and fill my finite closet of mindspace with acquired knowledge of patterns, fibers, and techniques.  Whenever I read a written pattern, no matter how badly written, I must imagine the knitting in my mind with each step.  I can’t just blindly follow the instructions.  I want to know why each stitch is there.  I now find a pattern I like and change it to something better, something mine.  Close to perfection.

Here is something funny to end with.  The many states of Holmes. He is my favorite bipolar.

Unhealthy Obsession???

Penn & Telller BullshitI have been hesitant to blog about my newest obsession.  Penn Jillette.  I’ve been watching the Showtime series “Bullsh!t” on youtube.  I’ve been listening to his 90 minute weekly podcast,”Penn’s Sunday School”.  I even watched the last two episodes of a show I never watch,”The Celebrity Apprentice”.

Penn Jillette is the more talkative side of Penn & Teller.  Teller is a fantastic magician with remarkable sleight of hand skills.  He is average male height of 5’9″, but when standing next to the larger than life Penn, he is perpetually known as “the little guy”.  I have come to find rare video and a podcast interview where Teller speaks, and he is very well spoken and intelligent.  I also learned that he was a High School Latin Teacher before teaming up with some other magicians and starting the partnership that has lasted decades.

I won’t shut up about things that Penn has said on his television shows or podcast.  I believe that his voice speaks for both him and Teller, and I tend to agree with most everything he has to say.

My hero

My obsession reached a new level this week.  For his ‘Apprentice’ show, he was challenged to create an ice cream flavor.  He is in the final two against Trace Atkins, a country singer I have never heard of because I don’t listen to any country music.  Both of the men are very tall.  Have I ever mentioned that I am very tall?  I am 6′ even – pretty tall for a lady.  Just one more thing I have in common with him; I tower over most women.  Anyway, I had to go buy the ice cream – I bought 8 pints of the ice cream.  I ate more than half of it.  I did share with my husband.  It was amazing – he did get help from LaToya Jackson and Dennis Rodman.  By the way, Rodman may have missed his calling.  On the show he tweaked the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream and the saltiness of the chocolate swirl to perfection.  Penn added these caramel filled chocolate turtles, but could not use the word ‘turtle’ in the ice cream name due to copyright laws.  LaToya coined the name -

Vanilla Chocolate Magic Swertle. 

Here is my freezer stocked with ice cream with Penn Jillette’s face on it.  I saved one carton after polishing it off and rinsing with water. I probably expose myself to a good four hours a day to Penn’s voice.  I remember when he was the announcer for Comedy Central.  I still have record of it on my old and dusty ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000″ video tapes.  (a previous obsession that no one understood).  I have over a year of podcasts to catch up on.  I have been listening for a few months, but my interest suddenly spiked this last week.

I think it started when I watched their first TV special on PBS, It is from the 80s and very funny.  But then I watched some more magic specials and saw this moment.  Penn’s expression was out of character from the arrogant boisterous loudmouth we know, he was sensitive.  He was intense.  It happens when he eats fire.  This look on his face reads of a man of passion.  A man not afraid to hold back, to give everything, to be serious.  I saw the expression again when he was handling a gun in the audience after he and Teller performed their famous bullet catching trick.  They aren’t real guns, well not functioning as normal guns, but they act like they are live, especially when in the audience.  He had this look the longest during the special Don’t Try This at Home when he eats fire with a beautiful woman on a couch (fast forward to 17:04).  It is as if they are enjoying a romantic evening together.  I just love this face.

Maybe he shows a different side when he is not talking all the time, even though I do love to hear him talk.  I love him.  Don’t judge me.

Doin’ Stuff and Gettin’ Stuff

A sampling of my yarn collection

A sampling of my yarn collection

I had a good session yesterday with me therapist.  My appointment couldn’t have come at a better time.  I had been watching myself sink for days.  I was all over the place talking about the what, and she helped me understand the feelings or the why.

I don’t actually remember what moment I had, but I left and immediately took care of some stuff I had been putting off.  I went to bed early and got up early ready for the day.  I worked on my painting.  I cleaned up some.  Now I feel back to normal.

I’m glad that I have more of an awareness of when I am slipping one way or the other.  I did some serious online shopping today – but didn’t check out.  I love shopping therapy.  About 15 years ago I would go to Eckerds (read CVS or Walgreens) and spend about $50 on whatever.  Nail polish, puzzle book, magazine, as-seen-on-TV crap, anything I wanted.  I have had periods of obsession when I need to buy them all, videos, books, shoes.  My current obsession is yarn and knitting.  Since my diagnosis I have had more control just by being aware of what the money spending obsession means.

Today I really wanted a new personal vaporizer.  Mine wasn’t working as well, and I convinced myself that I needed a bigger one.   I had visited a store last week and shopped around, but left with just e-juice (banana nilla pudding – yum).  I shopped online for a long time today, and drove by a shop this evening – thankfully it was closed.  I came home and tried to puff on my e-cig with poor results, but realized that my light colored juice was turning brown.  My atomizer was burnt out.  I changed it out after dinner for a new one I had on hand, and presto!  Its like a brand new vaporizer.  I realize now that my atomizers last about two weeks.  They aren’t expensive, under 5 bucks – a lot less than a brand new toy.

It is still hard to convince myself that I can’t buy happiness.  I watched three shows tonight about other people who are buried in it – Toy Hunter, Hoarders, and My Crazy Obsession.  These people dedicate time, serious cash, and space to their obsessions.  They cannot part with their things that they have collected and spend hours every week finding more.  One part of me wants to be one of these people (well not a hoarder), but most of me does not want that life.  Maybe I am in denial – I do have a room in our home dedicated to yarn, sewing, and all the other stuff I have gathered.  My mother always had her sewing room, and is a self-described ‘pack rat’, so I don’t think it is odd.  Many women have a sewing room or craft room if they have the space for it.  Some people would call it their studio or study – even a ‘man-cave’.

Obsession is a manic symptom – it can be controlled.  Even depression can be described as obsession with the negative.  Obsessing on self-hate and thinking of only  the bad things.  Obsession can be beneficial when it is creative, but can also lead to debt and seclusion.  Balance is the key, and by definition being obsessed is being out of balance.

 

Do-nothingism

Do-nothingism is a state of being described in Brown’s book,’Feeling Good’.  It is a downward spiral of doing nothing.  I do nothing because I feel bad, and I feel bad because I do nothing.

I have been in this state since Friday.  I slept all day today, and astounding 15 hours of sleep.  I had no motivation to awake.  I also feel quite guilty about all of it.  My husband gave himself a project to work on over the weekend, and he spent nearly every waking hour on that project.  I just stayed inside and vegetated.  I said I would help with the yardwork, but didn’t.  I said I would go with him to our friend’s house, but didn’t.  I said I would help, and I didn’t.

By Sunday evening, I could tell he was pissed.”Are you mad at me?”‘ I asked. No. “Are you frustrated with me”. Kinda, yea. “I am too.”

I know that all I have to do is start doing stuff.  Ha.  Thats all.  Doing anything right now looks like pushing a two ton boulder up a steep hill.  I would rather just sit – and do nothing.

Hey, at least I blogged – that’s something…sorta.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

I really liked hearing this story today. I think it is great that she isn’t hiding it, or ashamed of it.  The actress has checked herself into a mental health hospital for treatment of her bipolar disorder.  My local TV network stated that the visit was for ‘regular maintenance’.

I just love that phrase.   Regular maintenance and monitoring at a mental health hospital will help a bipolar person.  I have visited a hospital twice, both last year.  I will never forget one quiet patient responding to my complaint that she was leaving before me, and she just checked in two days ago.  She said,’because it is your first time here.’

I couldn’t imagine going back at the time.  I also wondered how many trips to the hospital this woman had had.  She was depressed, but also low key.  The other patients in the same ward can make or break the experience.

One woman, with the same first name as me, would moan and scream most of the time.  It was infuriating.  The staff was used to her,”she is here a lot” they would say.  It was difficult to cope with sometimes.

My second experience was at a different hospital.   I would return to this one for ‘maintenance’ if I need it in the future.  Just all together a more professional and helpful setting.

In my current state – pretty even right now – I can’t beleive I was ever so depressed that I needed to be hospitalized.  I can’t fathom that I had serious plans to take my life, but was frightened enough to seek help.  I am happy and love myself.

I mentioned to my husband that the e-juice for my e-cig contains enough nicotine to kill me if I drank it all at once.  He gave me a concerned look.  I laughed and told him that of course I wouldn’t do it.  I later learned I would have to swollow two bottles for a lethal dose.  I should probably tell him that.  As long as I only keep one bottle at a time, then it is not a risk.

why vaping is great

I’ve been vaping instead of smoking for about 10 days now, and I love it.  Above is my breakdown of my estimate of annual costs of analogs(old smokes) and ecigs(personal vaporizors).  Smokers are put off by the initial investment, but if only one vaporizor is purchased per year the cost can be much lower.  70% less in this case.

 

Why vaping is great:

1. It costs less – even if I vap twice as much as I estimate and buy another PV it is still half the cost of smoking

2. Its cleaner – no ashes, no butts, no ashtrays, no litter.  I did spill some e-juice on the sofa, but it cleaned up OK

3. No odor – because I am only exhaling water vapor – I can vap anywhere, even the bathroom at work

4. Fresh breath – no more kissing an ashtray for loved one

5. Happy lungs – my windpipe breathes easier since the switch

 

I think it is a no-brainer for current smokers to make the switch.  I have found several shops in my area, and they let you try before you buy.  I feel better buying from a local business than from the internet.  Also many of these businesses mix their own e-juice in dozens of flavors.  The nicotine dosage is also a variable, from zero to 24 mg per 30 mL.  I’m just happy to share that my bad habit now doesn’t feel so bad.

you mean I have to be an adult?

I guess at 35 I can finally start acting like an adult.  I just had an illuminated therapy session.  Its great after my first therapist 20 years ago to finally have a person I can stand talking to for an hour every other week.  She is not easy on me, but doesn’t make me want to run out of her office screaming.  I’m making progress, and liking it, and that is what therapy should do.

She pointed out that my husband should not also be my parent, and that is not fair to him.  I like it that way, but I know deep down, that he does not.  I realized later in the session, that all this time, instead of looking for an authorative parent type in my life, that I should be my own parent.

See, I can be a mommy after all.

As my own mommy, I have to make sure I go to work each day and fulfill my responsibilities in hygiene, housekeeping, homework, but also the good stuff.  Not soccar practice, but maybe my own home ballet classes that I always wanted.  Make time to be a child, but at the right time – on my day off.

Breakthroughs like today’s are rare, and should be cherished.  I just hope I can keep up with starting to really be a grown-up.